SINGAPORE: A new advisory panel formed to study ways to make the public transport system more family friendly will submit its report by the second quarter of 2018, the Public Transport Town Council (PTC) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Friday (Jun 30).
In a joint news release, they said the panel will consult relevant stakeholders and different groups of commuters to "better understand the needs of different types of family units."
Senior citizens, parents with young children, people with special needs as well as public transport operators will be invited to take part in a series of focus group discussions between July and September. An online survey open to members of the public will also be conducted in August.
The formation of the advisory panel was announced by Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min last Thursday in a Facebook post. He said he hopes that with a family-friendly public transport system in future, families will no longer see the need to own cars to ferry their children or their elderly parents.
The panel is co-chaired by PTC chairman Richard Magnus and Government Parliamentary Chairperson for Transport Sitoh Yih Pin.
“During the discussion, the topic came up about some feedback from some families who think they must have a car because they have young children, elderly parents at home or on a wheelchair,” said Mr Sitoh. "So these are some of the examples that the committee will deliberate, gather more feedback and basically we’re hoping to work towards a car-lite society in Singapore.”
Also on the panel are six representatives from key stakeholder groups such as parents with young children, senior citizens and people with special needs.
The representatives include National Council of Social Service vice-president Anita Fam, Member of Parliament Rahayu Mahzam, and full-time working mother and blogger Lu Jia Hui.
“As a mother of three school-going kids, one of my biggest concerns is safety – when they cross the roads, when it’s raining during stormy weather,” said Ms Lu, whose children are aged between nine and 12 years old. “So I just want to be sure there’s that sufficient support for all of them when they move around before or after school."
The recommendations of the panel, if they are accepted, will be incorporated into the next Land Transport Master Plan in 2018.